Program Team

The Program team is composed of experienced multidisciplinary transplant professionals who are accomplished in clinical research, outcome studies and transplant management. They are responsible for operating and evaluating the program.

Director
Akinlolu O. Ojo, MD, PhD
Executive Dean

University of Kansas School of Medicine
Kansas City, KS

Deputy Director
Robert M. Merion, MD
Professor Emeritus of Surgery

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

Program Evaluation Specialist
Amit Mathur, MD, MS
Associate Professor of Surgery

Consultant, Division of Transplant Surgery, Mayo Clinic
Phoenix, AZ

Manager
Maggie Kebler-Bullock, CFRE
Program Manager

American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Arlington, VA

Senior Coordinator
Marie-Claire Walters, BA
Senior Coordinator

American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Arlington, VA

Assistant Coordinator
Catherine Kuo, BA
Assistant Coordinator

American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Arlington, VA

Outreach Coordinator
Emily Walz, MSW, LCSW, CCTSW
Outreach Coordinator

American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Arlington, VA

Sr. Assistant
April Bruce, MSW, LCSW
Sr. Program Assistant

American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Arlington, VA

Sr. Assistant
Joanna Giddens, MSW
Senior Program Assistant

American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Arlington, VA

Assistant
Jean Hwang, MA
Program Assistant

American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Arlington, VA

Assistant
Veronica Ruiz, MBA
Program Assistant

American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Arlington, VA

Assistant
Jenna Leazott, BA
Program Assistant

American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Arlington, VA

Advisory Group

The Advisory Group was established to assist the National Living Donor Assistance Center in:

  • Development and management of the program
  • Development of program policies and eligibility criteria
  • Monitoring outcomes and performance
  • Contributing relevant expertise to the program

The Advisory Group meets annually, holds periodic conference calls, and is comprised of a kidney donor, liver donor, transplant surgeons, transplant physicians, transplant nurse coordinator, transplant social worker, health economist, social scientist, financial administrator and a HRSA representative. Below is a list of current Advisory Group members.

Name, Title, & Affiliations Expertise & Affiliated Volunteer Organizations
Tarunjeet Klair, MD (2025)

American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Surgical Director, Living Donor Liver Transplantation
UT Health San Antonio
San Antonio, TX

Transplant Surgeon
Living Donor Liver Transplantation

Remonia Chapman, M.Div (2026)

Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP)
Director, Public Education and Community Relations, Community Outreach Manager and Director
MOTTEP, Gift of Life Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

Transplant Education
Community Health Education

Xingxing S. Cheng, MD, MS (2024)

American Society of Transplantation (AST)
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Stanford University
Stanford, CA

Transplant Nephrologist

Lisa Donovan, BPS (2022)

Transplant Financial Coordinators Association
Transplant Financial Coordinator
SUNY Upstate Medical University
Syracuse, NY

Transplant Financial Coordination
Trustee, Transplant Financial Coordinators Association

Marty Durand, JD (2024)

National Kidney Foundation
Attorney
Piotrowski Durand PLLC
Boise, ID

Living Donor Kidney Transplant Recipient
Patient Advocacy

Heather Gardiner, MA, PHD, MPH (2026)

Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA

Public Health/Social and Behavioral Sciences
Community Engaged Research
Member, ASN, AST, American Public Health Association, The Transplantation Society, International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement

Jason E. Huff, MSN, RN, FNKF (2022)

UNOS Transplant Administrators Committee
Senior Director/Transplant Administrator
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Cincinnati, OH

Leadership in Transplant Administration, Operations, and Strategic Planning

Dianne LaPointe Rudow, ANP.BC DNP (2026)

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
Professor, Department of Population Health Science and Policy
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital
New York, NY

President, UNOS
Director, Zweig Family Center for Living Donation
Member, NATCO, AST

Krista Lentine, MD, MS, PhD (2025)

American Society of Nephrology
Professor of Medicine
Medical Director of Living Donation
St. Louis University
St. Louis, MO

Chair, OPTN/UNOS Living Donor Committee
Member, SRTR Steering Committee
Former Director, NKF SCM Transplant Physicians’ Program and Kidney Transplant Course
NKF Shaul G. Massry Award Recipient

Anita Sites, MSN, RN, CCTC, AG-ACNP-BC (2026)

North American Transplant Coordinators Organization (NATCO)
Transplant Nurse Practicitioner
University of Virginia Health System Transplant Department
Charlottesville, VA

Transplant Coordination
Board Member, NATCO

Keith Teltser, MA, PhD (2026)

Assistant Professor, Department of Economics
Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA

Health Economics
Member, American Economic Association, American Society of Health Economists, Southern Economic Association

Betsy Walsh, JD, MPH (2023)

Living kidney donor
Novant Health, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
Charlotte, NC

Past-president, UNOS
Living kidney donor

Brandy Vinson

The National Forum of End Stage Renal Disease Networks (ESRD)
Executive Director, ESRD Network 5
Richmond, VA

ESRD Administration; Chair, Executive 
Directors Advisory Committee of the Forum of ESRD Networks

Amy Waterman, PhD (2025)

Director, Patient Engagement, Diversity, and Education, Department of Surgery and J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center
Houston Methodist Hospital
Houston, TX

Founder, Explore Transplant and Explore Living Donation
Member, AST Psychosocial Community of Practice, Transplantation Living Donor COP, Women’s Health COP

Christine White, MSW, LCSW (2025)

Society of Transplant Social Workers (STSW)
Transplant Social Worker, Independent Living Donor Advocate
AdventHealth Transplant Institute
Orlando, FL

Transplant Social Worker
STSW Living Donor Committee Chair, Lung Committee Member
Board Member, Bartch Transplant House at AdventHealth

Frank Holloman, MPA

Director, Division of Transplantation
Health Resources and Services Administration
Rockville, MD

Federal Program Oversight

Vanessa Arriola, MPH

Public Health Analyst
Health Systems Bureau, Division of Transplantation
Health Resources and Services Administration
Rockville, MD

Federal Program Oversight

Arjun Naik

Division of Transplantation
Health Resources and Services Administration
Rockville, MD

Federal Program Oversight

Mesmin Germain, MPH, MBA (Ex-Officio)

Chief, Operations and Donation Education Branch, Division of Transplantation
Health Resources and Services Administration
Rockville, MD

Federal Program Oversight


Learn what you need to know before applying for NLDAC assistance by reading our Program Snapshot.


Organ Donor
University of Kansas
ASTS
Arbor Research Collaborative for Health